People who are successful at telemarketing are a different breed from other employees. Not everyone is cut out for this job and able to perform it successfully. They need more breaks and shorter hours so they can be refreshed and ready for each new series of calls—telemarketing is hard work.
The number-one thing to look for when hiring a telemarketer is his or her attitude. Being positive regardless of what happens on the call is the only way to be successful on the phone. Telemarketers who can keep a smile on their face will also sound better on the phone. When telemarketers are good, your business will see positive growth results. Put them in the right environment, with the right products and target list, and how can you not prosper? If telemarketing is right for your business, the right telemarketer will make you a winner.
Look for these qualities in each potential telemarketer you interview:
- A pleasant phone voice
- Speech that is not too fast or too slow
- Speech that is loud enough but not overly loud
- Proper grammar and correct pronunciation of words
- A positive and optimistic tone
- Good listening skills and knowledge of when to stop talking
- Someone you would enjoy having a conversation with
- The ability to be persistent without being pushy
- A sense of humor without being silly
- An up-to-date knowledge of current events and news
- A friendly attitude
- Confidence and a reassuring tone
- A persona that you would buy from
You also may look for other qualities that pertain to your industry. Don’t settle for less than you’re comfortable with, or you’ll just have to do it all over again. Do a trial run through your script or outline and listen to see whether the person is comfortable doing it. Be sure to interview people face to face and over the phone to get a complete picture before hiring them. This may seem like a lot of steps just to interview a telemarketer, but remember: They are representing your company to everyone they call.
To find your telemarketing personnel, you could run a newspaper ad or a Craigslist ad, but those should be your second choices. Before you get to that level, try a few better choices first:
- Referrals from friends and business associates
- Interested people from college public-speaking classes
- Likable telemarketers who call you
- People from drama and acting schools
- People you meet and enjoy talking to
- Service-oriented salespeople in stores
- A local Toastmasters group
Finding, interviewing, training, and motivating telemarketers is a never-ending task because you can never have too many people who bring you sales and growth. It’s a good idea to consider both experienced and inexperienced people, because a smart company won’t let a great telemarketer get out of their grasp, so good experienced telemarketers can be hard to find. Always be in the market to talk to a great one—you may stumble upon an exceptional telemarketer when you least expect it. Find out who the person is and how to contact him or her again.